Some very basics about the new CPA

By Staff Writer

The recently introduced Consumer Protection Act (CPA) is designed to protect you from unscrupulous businesses that provide bad or unsafe goods or who try to unfairly limit your freedom of choice. It is worth understanding this Act because it offers you a number of rights that you did not have before.

The right to choose

Freedom of choice is an important principle in the Consumer Protection Act. Consumers have the right to shop around for the best prices, goods and services.

One important aspect of this is that a company may not force you to buy a bundle of goods and services, unless it will be cheaper and more convenient for you as a consumer. For example, a cellphone company can't force you to buy SMSes and airtime if you just want the airtime.

The right to safety

One of the main objectives of the Act is to ensure your safety. If a product or service you are buying could hurt you or make you sick, the company must warn you of the danger and advise you about how to use it safely.

For example, if the fumes from a cleaning product or a bottle of any poison could make you ill, the instructions must warn you as well as tell you clearly how to use it safely. If you’re injured using a product because it is defective or badly made or the instructions and warnings were not clear enough, you can now hold the retailer responsible for the harm you suffered. The retailer may in turn claim damages from the manufacturer or importer.

The right to quality

According to the CPA, all products sold to consumers are supplied with an implied warranty that they are free of defects, suitable for the use they are designed for, and capable of being used for a reasonable period of time. All goods come with a six month implied warranty of quality, during which time if any of the above exists, you will be able to get compensation, refund or exchange from the supplier.

Closing words

The CPA makes it easier for you to enforce your rights as a consumer and claim for damages or compensation when you have been seriously wronged by a company you deal with.

You can now approach the National Consumer Commissioner or Tribunal for help when a company does not live up to its responsibilities rather than going to court. This is a whole new era for consumer rights in South Africa

Recent Articles

Featured Rating agencies may come knocking

It is only the middle of February, but the rand has already made two big moves. The first was the rand moving from R14.60 to R 13.20 at the beginning of the year, as emerging markets (EM) became fashionable again. The second was where the rand gave away nearly 90 cents in 2 weeks as the EM rally ran out of steam, and local events started to hit the headlines.

Read more

The cost of sending money home to neighbouring countries

Transferring money home within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) provides vital financial support for many households in neighbouring countries.

Read more

Student bank accounts: Which come out on top?

Being a student signals budgeting and not having a lot of money at your disposal. This means streamlining expenses such as your grocery costs and entertainment budget. But what if your bank account is in fact costing you more than you can afford?

Read more

Can you afford an ambulance in South Africa?

When a loved one is straddling the line between life and death, you won’t hesitate to call an ambulance. This week, Justmoney found out how much an ambulance ride costs in South Africa, whether you can refuse to get into an ambulance, and who pays the bill if you’re unconscious. 

Read more

Sign Up

To our weekly newsletter for advice you can bank on

Deals

President Hotel Easter Special

Price: From R1,500
When: 15 March to 30 April
Where: Cape Town

Kulula-Preskil Island Resort Special

Price: R16,999
When: 11 May -14 September
Where: Mauritius

A Touch Of Madness Tuck In Tuesday Special

Price: R70
When: Tuesdays
Where: Cape Town